He just keeps getting cuter.
Our grocery cart/high chair cover came weeks ago, and I FINALLY tried it out at the store with Jack the other day. He did great. I still have to work on getting it in place quickly and with one hand. For this outing, I put the car seat in the cart, got the cover on, moved Jack into the seat, and then piled groceries on top of the car seat.
Plenty adorable, right? It got so much better. I turned back to the cart after picking up milk, and found this:
Poor sad baby chicken. Not quite 9 months old and already completely done with grocery shopping.
Jack in May!
You guys are overdue for some cute baby pictures, and boy, do I have some good ones for you. Let’s start with April.
Wait, there’s more?
I mean, objectively, isn’t Jack the cutest baby in the world?
We think Jack may have a sensitivity to milk, so I eliminated dairy from my diet 11 days ago. (I meant to start 13 days ago, but I kept forgetting and doing stupid things like eating ice cream that first day and chicken corn chowder (heavy on cream and cheese) the second day.) I THINK we’re seeing an improvement in Jack, but it’s hard to tell – is it really better? Did I screw up again mid-week? (Yes.) Is it possible that it’s just his immature digestive system acting up and it seems better now because he’s growing? I have no idea. Also, I’ve done my googling (naturally), and if he is sensitive to milk, it’s pretty mild and thank goodness for that. A serious sensitivity would be much more unpleasant for him.
Anyway, being dairy-free SUCKS and that’s with me only eliminating the obvious stuff – no milk, no butter, no cheese, no sour cream. Ugh, no cream cheese. I’m not going full vegan and avoiding baked goods or fully cooked things that might have had dairy in them. I did miss having tea and cereal, so I’m trying almond milk. It’s….okay. I do NOT recommend drinking it straight. I tried it with chocolate cake – that’s a big no. (The cake is a big yes.) But in cereal, it’s great. I pretty much couldn’t tell it wasn’t regular milk with either Frosted Flakes or Honey Nut Cheerios. In tea, the jury is still out. This is my second try with Yorkshire tea, and I’m not wild about it, but I used it in French Vanilla tea yesterday, and it was great.
What I really want is to go back to my normal diet, but I’m not sure how to approach that. If Jack were to show no improvement, then yay I can eat what I want, but the poor baby is still in distress. If Jack shows improvement, then either he’s sensitive to dairy and I should stay off it for at least a few months or dairy has nothing to do with it and he’s just maturing. I have no way to tell without testing by introducing dairy again, which might make Jack very uncomfortable again.
Yeah, yeah, the responsible thing to do is continue to avoid dairy. Boo responsibility.
Now, to thank you all for your patience, here is a picture of Jack from when he was one week old.
I have many many many more pictures, and now that I have solved (John has solved) my picture problem, I will be uploading more. I just don’t have them on my computer yet. Jack is sleeping and my phone is providing white noise, so I don’t want to take it away to get the pictures.
Let me tell you the story of our hike last Saturday. “Story”, since it’s not like anything eventful happened. Mostly I want an excuse to show you pictures. Oh, that reminds me – I want to preface all these pictures with something. Every picture and video posted here was taken by me on my phone’s camera. I have the resolution cranked all the way up, and for the still photos, I have HDR turned on. I don’t edit my photos, and I don’t use filters. (This is not a vanity or ego thing – I don’t have the patience or desire to spend that much time on my pictures.)
Anyway, I wanted a hike with waterfalls, but I didn’t want to drive all the way across the state to see the famous ones, like Multnomah Falls (two and a half hours away) or Klamath Falls (three hours away). Luckily for us, the Mackenzie River has a trail called the Waterfalls Loop Trail, and it starts less than 90 away from us.
We started at the Carmen Reservoir. The day was perfect.
The river was so clear it looked it looked chlorinated, and the water was so cold that the air on the banks felt like air conditioning. Everything smelled fresh and clean and clear and that reminds me of something I forgot to mention about our redwoods hike. That national park smelled SO GOOD. Margaret, wonder that she is, explained that the park has a lot of bay trees, and surprise surprise, they smell like bay leaves, and it was so freakin’ pleasant (and I am so glad we had Margaret to tell us that because otherwise I would not have been able to explain why it smelled so good). This forest did not smell like bay leaves, but it smelled like fresh, clean air, and it was so nice.
The path was clear and well-maintained (and by the waterfalls, it had big log railings that reminded John of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg), and the forest was beautiful.
And then we rounded the corner and saw the first of two waterfalls. (I think it was Koosah Falls.)
It was loud, of course, but I could have watched it for hours.
Speaking of well-maintained trails, I’m always tickled to find stairs in the woods. These were on the way up the river, past the first waterfall to the second (and the top of the loop).
So then we came to the second waterfall. Look at all that green! I can’t get over how nearly neon it was.
Then of course we asked someone to take our picture. Not great, but whatever.
So we climbed to the top of that waterfall and kept following the trail, but when it was time loop back, we weren’t ready. There was another path that was supposed to lead to Clear Lake (never heard of it, but it sounded promising), so we figured we’d follow that for a little bit.
It led us here. We weren’t impressed.
We were going to turn back, but another hiker came by and pointed out that the trail continued on the other side of the road. That was awfully nice of her because that’s how we found
the Lake of Shining Waters Clear Lake.
It had a cool bridge going across the river.
We walked a little and turned around pretty quickly, but when we got back to the bridge, it had been overrun by tweens from sleepaway camp. There were at least 20 of them, daring each other to jump off the bridge, their camp counselors egging them on. I got video.
After that, we headed back to the waterfalls loop to go down the other side. We found where the trolls live.
And then as we got to the top of that upper waterfall, we climbed down from the actual trail to get closer to the water and I found my new favorite spot in the whole world.
That’s where the water plunges down, that horizontal line of frothy water with trees above it (beyond it). My toes were an inch from the waterline on the bank.
I crouched down under a tree to get the water rushing over rocks inches away.
Shifting my focus upstream, look at how clear it is and then how cold it looks.
And then there was this spot, where I could sit up against a tree with the water rushing by below and the dropoff 30 feet ahead.
We stopped here for a while.
And, well, John was hot, so he tested the temperature.
We did eventually head back down the trail, and we found ALL the rainbows at the first waterfall.
This next picture is why I mentioned all that stuff about not editing and not using filters. I have done nothing to this picture to make it look like this.
It’s my favorite. Occasionally I get lucky. And that day, I was very happy to be on that trail.
We’re home and back on wifi, but I don’t have the energy to give you the details of our trip tonight. However, I will deliver pictures of the belated Mother’s Day tulips* that FILLED the market this weekend.
*I typed “tupils”. I need to remember that. Speaking of tupils, there’s a farm in Oregon that has a festival every year, but we missed it. Christina invited me to go the last weekend, but I already had plans. Sad me.
That’s Tigger, up there. Stubborn pony who’s almost a horse (he’s just under 14.2 hands). And just below here, that’s me and Tigger after my lesson on Sunday. No joke, he is licking my t-shirt. I don’t know why.
Down there is Tigger in his muddy blanket. This is from last Tuesday, I think.
This is Dobby, Tigger’s frenemy. Another pony.
And this is Willow, the first pony I rode. She does NOT like to jump, so Wendy switched me to Tigger when I got to that point. I should have gotten a picture of her in her winter coat. She looked like a goat, with a beard.
Wendy has plenty of horses (not just ponies), but I don’t know them very well.
These next few pictures are from Sunday (a beautiful day, obviously). Random pic of the farm plus some of the outdoor arena.
And here’s the indoor arena.
My last three lessons have been GREAT. I rode with someone (Robin on Casino) on Tuesday (a week ago), and even Wendy pointed out that I had a great lesson WITH someone. I jumped the biggest jump I’ve ever jumped, and I handled Tigger’s minor tantrums well.
Then I rode with someone else on Sunday (Kelly on Mac) and alone today, and even though I felt weird on Sunday (I kept holding my arms wrong and Tigger’s head felt further away than usual (like I was taller?) – I blame the allergy medicine), both lessons were good and I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable. Of course, I should expect to see big improvements if I ride three times a week, but I can’t really afford that.
Anyway, this is the biggest jump I’ve jumped so far. Wendy says I’ve jumped that high (2’3″), but this one is set up like a pyramid and is 2’6″ wide. I haven’t jumped wide before, and it was really really cool.
This is what I normally jump. Or the Xs you can see in the outdoor arena. Jumping is so cool.
And, for atmosphere, this is the view past the indoor arena on a stormy day. John says it looks like Scotland.
Today, some pictures.
This first one is the only one actually taken today, in the few minutes of blue sky between rainstorms.
Don’t know what these flowers are, but they’re so little and cute!
These next few are painted on doors used as someone’s fence, all in a row.
And here are a few I took of the Willamette River on my run earlier in the week. The water’s really high from all the rain.
The sun came out and the weather warmed up and I went outside and took pictures of the daffodils. I’ll need to remember this because it’s going to rain again tomorrow and for much of the next few days.
For today, a sneak peek. This lovely path exists within a 15-minute drive of our house, and I hope we get to visit it again with Molly over the next few days.
In contrast, today we are in Portland doing fun city things!
Over 7,000 people marched in Eugene today, me and John and Christina included, in solidarity with people all over the country and the world. There was chanting (“This is what democracy looks like” and “My body, my choice, her body, her choice” and others), a drumline, lots of signs, and a ton of rain. Supposedly there were speakers, too, but we didn’t see or hear any of them. Just a lot of friendly people walking together, bumping into each other and apologizing constantly. No violence, no threats, no crime. (Okay, the newspaper said there was one graffiti incident.)
I don’t have anything profound to say here, not least because it would be in violation of my mission statement. I’m just glad we went.
Why did the turkey cross the road?
To get away from the crazy lady with the camera.
If you have ANY interest in musicals, you have to listen to Wait Wait Don’t Kill Me, a musical comedy about Serial. You all listened to season one of Serial, right? Of course you did. It’s on the Secrets, Crimes & Audiotapes podcast. Go. Listen. Enjoy.
I am going outside. I know – AGAIN. But it’s the first time today, so you know I’m not overdoing it. We wouldn’t want that.
I’m just going to sit in the backyard for a few minutes to read. The backyard that needs mowing and watering and weeding.
The front yard needs almost as much work, but I cleverly took a picture that shows the sidewalk and the neighbor’s yard up the street instead.
We went into every gift shop in each of the three Disney parks we visited. That’s not an exaggeration – we went into every single one. For the most part, they carry the same stuff. Ride gift shops had some ride-specific toys and shirts, and the other shops had some park-specific stuff, but mostly they were the same. The World Showcase shops in Epcot had the most variation, and it was there I saw the most disturbing thing.
We were in fake Mexico, in the fake market inside. I leaned forward to look at an anklet, and then threw myself backwards when I got a closer look at the mannequin ankle it was displayed on. (I may have overreacted a bit, but it took me by surprise.)
It’s unnerving, right? Is it a heeled shoe with toes? A bare foot with a built-in heel? Makes me shudder just thinking about it. Someone miscalculated with this one.
I usually get annoyed when I skip a day on the ol’ blog here, but I can’t be mad about skipping yesterday. I didn’t plan to skip – I thought I’d be back home in time to get it done – but it was late because we were out having adventures and doing fun things and taking LOTS of pictures. I can forgive myself for that.
None of the pictures you’re about to see have been edited, mostly because I don’t really know how to do that, and I’m too lazy to bother with it. The signs all over Crater Lake National Park say that the water is so blue because it’s all rain and snowmelt and because it’s the deepest freshwater lake in the country. It was incredible. I didn’t want to look away. Of course, I did look away because who would believe we were there if we didn’t take pictures? I love being a tourist.
I can’t help but like this one, even though we could be ANYwhere since you can’t really see the lake.
It was hard to leave, even after our hike. Oh yes – we hiked. In our infinite wisdom, we chose one of the strenuous hikes, meant to take 2-3 hours and gain over 1000 feet in elevation. In our defense, there were only two hiking trails within walking distance of where we parked, and the other one was easy and seemed to follow the road we’d just driven down. BOR-ing.
If you squint, you can see the Crater Lake Lodge in the upper center part of this picture, which is where we started. I think we were about halfway when I took this one.
The temperature was in the 70s, and we were working hard, so we were plenty warm, but there was SNOW on the ground. Not everywhere, certainly, but we had to climb through a slippery melting snowbank to get to the top. That was the scariest part. Well, coming back down through the snowbank was the scariest part.
We did reach the top, though. Here we are on Garfield Peak, 8000 feet above sea level. I don’t know how many feet we were above lake level.
And here’s another terrible selfie (it was really bright out, okay?).
I think I might have to make that one my profile picture for ALL of my accounts.
John wants to run down this meadow. I’m willing to bet it’s steeper than it looks.
I think I took this next one on the way back down.
Here we are, tired and happy and soon to be very hungry.
We left about 6pm (we got there around after noon, close to 1, I think), but it’s 2 and a half hours away, so it was nearly 9 before we got back to Cottage Grove, and after 9 before we ate. Almost midnight when we got home, still had to shower (covered in sweat and sunscreen – totally gross), and we’re only a little bit sore today. Our gym has a hot tub. We may be heading there this afternoon.
Ignore the random people in this picture. I think it’s a cool sign.
We were THIS close to the track….
…and it was a beautiful day.
And look! The women competing in the heptathlon getting ready for their 200m race. Butts in the air…
Pushing off the blocks…
Burst of energy at the beginning of a short, fast race.
Check it out! It’s Maggie Malone, she of the cool name and the world-class javelin-throwing arm.
And HERE is a picture that shows all three of the men who will be running the 5000m race for the US in Rio. You can see Lagat (check his bib) and the other two are in Chelimo (in the Army shirt in front) and Mead, in the green shirt behind. I took that picture because I was that close. Such a cool day.